Providing fair and just punishment for the guilty. Penalizing a person for a misdeed.
Punishment is generally inflicted by an authority (eg, the state or a parent) on one who honours that authority. It is distinguished from revenge, in which one individual acts without the support of appropriate authority.
Punishing wrongdoers rehearses for the whole society those acts which it has agreed not to condone. This prevents crime and strengthens the common bonds of the society.
Forgiving and rehabilitating wrongdoers can constructively deter crime and gives criminals a renewed bond of participation in their society.